Keywords:public art, gender, race, censorship, murals
Operating from the position of an artist with a mature practice in creating public art, this essay chronicles and contextualises the development of a series of works that consider the history, symbolism, interpretation, and evolving understanding of specific historic public artworks. There is a paradox in my development as a muralist: my significant experience while being affiliated with and working on behalf of a prominent community-based non-profit arts organization, where I repeatedly faced constraints upon the content and attitude of the work being created, earned me the notoriety and reputation that facilitates for-profit work that critiques design-by-committee at best, and malignant censorship at worst. Works in the series deal with the intersections of gender and race in the content of public artworks in tones that range from reverent to harshly critical and – in some cases – suggestive of reparative action.
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